Property Manager Hiring Guide ebook stacked multiple

A good property management company can easily become one of your greatest assets.

But deciding on a company to protect your investment can feel like rocket science. Gain the knowledge you need to confidently evaluate and hire a property management company.

The Realty Medics two employee for maintenance and repairs, looking in the computer working

Property Maintenance and Repairs

Preserving and increasing the value of your property is one of a property management company’s chief roles. Tenant requests should be addressed promptly, and owners should be provided with a transparent system for seeing how their money is being spent. A competent manager accomplishes all of this with the assistance of both internal staff and their network of qualified, licensed vendors they’ve vetted for excellent and cost-effective service. Here’s a list of issues to review and questions to ask any property management firm that you interview:

How do you track incoming resident maintenance requests and subsequent work orders?

A software solution should be in place here. You want to find a manager with a system that doesn’t allow maintenance requests to fall through the cracks and require multiple tenant requests before the work is done. Ideally, tenants should be able to submit maintenance requests online.

How are after-hours maintenance requests and emergencies handled, and who handles them?

Make sure it’s someone qualified to handle the problem. The last thing you want is an answering machine, or someone saying you’ll have to wait until Monday to resolve the issue.

What system do you have in place to practice preventative maintenance?

Preventative maintenance is the mechanism a manager uses to maintain the value of your property and avoid letting small issues become larger and more expensive problems down the road. This involves things like a predefined maintenance and inspection schedule, as well as promptly addressing known issues. This assumes that owners are willing to make the necessary repairs when they come up. Slumlords may balk, but successful real estate investors know that when you’re in for the long haul, you have to engage in sustainable practices that maximize property values—not short-term practices that delay and multiply costs.

Do you have your own maintenance crew?

If the answer is yes, are they covered by workers’ compensation, and are they licensed, bonded and insured? Additionally, are they available 24/7/365 for emergencies?

What contractors do you work with? 

Do the contractors carry workers’ compensation, and are they licensed, bonded and insured? Does the management company oversee the contractors’ work for quality, code compliance and cost-effectiveness? Some owners like to take the extra step of researching the primary vendors that will be used and make sure they don’t see any red flags.

Do you have any conflicts of interest with your vendors? 

Beware of relationships based on something other than good work and the best price. Vendors reward management companies for their business, but this should be in the form of discounted rates (which benefit the owner) rather than “referral bonuses” that go to the management firm. The management contract may state something to the effect that the management company may:

“… perform any of its duties and obtain necessary products and services, through affiliated companies or organizations in which Management may own an interest, and may receive fees, commissions and/or profits from these affiliated companies or organizations.”

If this is the case, make sure you get full disclosure on the nature of any pre-existing relationships where this applies, and that you’ll be notified when this comes up again in the future with new vendors. One possible exception to this rule would be when the management company receives a small fee from vendors for guaranteed payment, meaning the vendors get paid by the management company regardless of whether the property owner has sufficient funds in their account.

What rules do you have in place regarding contractors entering occupied properties?

Make sure they have an established policy here. Any time contractors and maintenance personnel enter occupied units, there’s a risk of trouble if the situation isn’t handled carefully.

Do you provide itemized statements with receipts for work performed?

This adds accountability and transparency to the billing process. You don’t want to work with a management company that’s unwilling to provide solid documentation of where your money is being spent.

Do you let tenants perform repairs?

Tenants perform inferior work, and their lack of insurance coverage, liability or workers’ compensation could leave you liable in the event of an accident or injury. Why take the risk of having them accidentally fall off a roof or ladder, electrocute themselves or flood your home? If they don’t allow tenant repairs, make sure this is written into the rental agreement. If you’re comfortable allowing them, at least have the tenant sign a waiver and agree that the repairs must be approved by the manager.

Do you allow tenants to hire their own handymen?

This is also inviting trouble. The rental agreement should prohibit this.

What recurring maintenance tasks (lawn mowing, etc.) do you expect the tenant to perform?

This is not considered a liability hazard, although providing these services eliminates the issue of tenant neglect and can improve tenant satisfaction, which helps with retention.

What’s involved in your process for preparing a property to be re-rented after a tenant has vacated? How long does this process take?

The property should get the usual cleaning, paint job, re-keying, etc., but this is also a good time to consider strategic improvements that will maximize your rental revenue. You want to find a property manager that will proactively offer this kind of feedback on an as-needed basis. Obviously, the quicker the turnaround time, the better. The best crew in the world can’t fix what they can’t see. Regular inspections are a critical component of preventative maintenance.

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The Realty Medics are the nation’s leaders in “Rocket Science Renting”: Rocket Science Renting is about keeping your life simple by letting someone else handle the complex work of property management for you. It’s knowing that your property is running smoothly, with no hiccups or glitches. It’s hyper-responsive customer service that gives you property management peace of mind. It’s advanced technology that could only be designed by a former NASA engineer like our owner, Ben Sencenbaugh. And it’s knowing that you’re always getting maximum value and ROI for your investment.

Orlando Property Management Hiring Guide

Let us handle the rocket science of renting for you!

CONTACT US

The Realty Medics
10027 University Blvd
Orlando, FL 32817

Phone: (321) 947-7653
FAX: (407) 965-3312

The Realty Medics are the nation’s leaders in “Rocket Science Renting”: Rocket Science Renting is about keeping your life simple by letting someone else handle the complex work of property management for you. It’s knowing that your property is running smoothly, with no hiccups or glitches. It’s hyper-responsive customer service that gives you property management peace of mind. It’s advanced technology that could only be designed by a former NASA engineer like our owner, Ben Sencenbaugh. And it’s knowing that you’re always getting maximum value and ROI for your investment.

A woman smiling while holding a phone looking to here computer screen

11 Questions for Determining if You Need a Property Management Firm

While every investor’s situation is different, certain factors typically predispose owners one way or another.

The following questions will help you determine whether or not to hire a property manager.

1. How far do you live from your rental property, and how frequently can you visit the property on a regular basis?

If you’re close, you might be able to make the regular visits required for maintenance, inspections, collections, etc. Otherwise, the farther you live, the higher your travel time and expenses will be. The longer the distance, the more temptation there will be to NOT keep a close eye on things, and that can be a recipe for disaster. You should plan on making frequent visits, as well as for those middle-of-the-night emergency calls that require your immediate attention. In the long run, is this feasible for you?

2. How do you deal with stress? Do you consider yourself to be a tolerant person?

This is a tough one. We all like to think of ourselves as level-headed and even-keeled, but at the end of the day, it takes a special kind of person to deal with the ups and downs of property management.

Behind the seemingly simple task of collecting rent every month is a litany of unpredictable problems that can push people to their limits. Ask yourself how you would react in the unfortunate event that your tenants:

  • fight with other tenants or neighbors;
  • have domestic disputes;
  • conduct illegal business in the dwelling;
  • throw late-night parties or violate noise ordinances;
  • try to sneak extra people or animals into your home;
  • decide to sue you;
  • trash your property;
  • incite the wrath of your HOA because of repeated deed restriction violations; or
  • refuse to pay the rent because they are a “professional tenant” and know how to work the legal system for the maximum amount of free housing at your expense.

3. Are you currently overwhelmed with your property(ies)?

Managing rental properties can become quickly overwhelming, even for experienced investors. Something always requires attention, and things can quickly get out of hand. Hiring a property manager can help you regain control and restore stability to your properties and your life.

4. How many rental properties or units do you have?

As your portfolio grows, so do your management challenges. It becomes easier for things to fall through the cracks. Investors with large portfolios stand to reap significant benefits by leveraging the efficiencies a property manager can provide. Portfolio size can also constrain investors’ ability to consider purchasing new properties if they’re already maxed out managing their current holdings.

5. How much experience do you have with maintenance and repairs?

If you can’t do it yourself, do you know who to call? Finding reliable handymen and contractors can take a while. In the meantime, you may unknowingly hire people who are unethical, uninsured, do poor quality work, overcharge, etc. Maintenance and repairs are significant components of landlording, and if you question your ability to ensure that the work is done quickly and well, you might want to consider hiring a property management company.

6. How quickly are you able to get your unit rented?

Advertising, fielding calls and showing the unit can quickly eat up your time. But because vacancies can quickly eat into your profit margins, they’re critical tasks. If you question whether you have the skills or time to make this happen, OR if you have historically had an unacceptably high vacancy rate, you may want to consider hiring a property management company.

7. Are you capable of handling the accounting and record-keeping for your property?

From profit and loss statements to tax deductions, this area needs special attention and becomes increasingly burdensome for owners of larger portfolios. Some owners (especially those with a background in finance) will do just fine. Others may opt to hire an accountant to help with the bookkeeping. If you feel like this might be a weak point for you, you might want to consider hiring a property management company.

8. Are you willing to be on call 24/7/365?

It’s important to answer this question honestly, because ignoring emergencies at your property is NOT an option. Your special event, important meeting, vacation or personal crisis doesn’t relieve you of your obligations to your tenants. These emergencies don’t happen all the time, but when they do, you’re obligated to handle them immediately. Can you handle being called at 2 a.m. to fix someone’s overflowing toilet?

9. Are you willing to confront tenants about late payments, and evict them from the property if necessary?

Many new owners dislike feeling like the “bad guy” in a landlord-tenant relationship, so they go out of their way to make exceptions to the rules. The problem: This only invites additional abuses and excuses by tenants. Late payments must be dealt with immediately, and while sometimes a friendly reminder is all that’s needed, other times it can be a very confrontational process that needs to end in eviction. Unlike running a charity, running a successful rental business means enforcing the rules—even if it means evicting a single mother who lost her job and won’t be able to pay the rent anytime soon.

10. How well do you understand the laws governing landlording?

Ensuring that the property is run in accordance with the law is critical in preventing lawsuits and shielding yourself from liability if you’re sued. Familiarity with contracts is also very important, as your rental agreement is the only binding agreement between you and the tenant.

11. From a financial standpoint, is managing your property the best use of your time?

Ultimately, your decision to hire a property management company should hinge on whether or not it fits your lifestyle and makes good financial sense. Individual investors will have to assess the opportunity cost of both options based on their unique circumstances.

Property Management Hiring Guide

Let us handle the rocket science of renting for you!

CONTACT US

The Realty Medics
10027 University Blvd
Orlando, FL 32817
Phone: (321) 947-7653
FAX: (407) 965-3312

The Realty Medics are the nation’s leaders in “Rocket Science Renting”: Rocket Science Renting is about keeping your life simple by letting someone else handle the complex work of property management for you. It’s knowing that your property is running smoothly, with no hiccups or glitches. It’s hyper-responsive customer service that gives you property management peace of mind. It’s advanced technology that could only be designed by a former NASA engineer like our owner, Ben Sencenbaugh. And it’s knowing that you’re always getting maximum value and ROI for your investment.

Areas We Serve in Florida

We’re happy to serve many of the surrounding areas here in Central Florida. Below are the current cities and locations that we operate in. If you don’t see your area listed, don’t hesitate to reach out to us and we’ll see if we can work together.

The Realty Medics Guarantees

We are very proud to be the highest rated and most reviewed Property Management company in Central Florida. We guarantee results and have the lowest rates to support our results-driven philosophy.

14 Day Rental Guarantee

If we don’t rent your home in 14 days you get one month FREE management.

90 Day Money Back Guarantee

If you, the Owner, is unhappy for any reason, we will refund your management fees

6 Month Tenant Guarantee

If a tenant is removed in first 6 months, We find you a new tenant free of charge.

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CONTACT US

Phone: (321) 947-7653
FAX: (407) 965-3312

LOCATION

The Realty Medics
10027 University Blvd
Orlando, FL 32817

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